Gum diseases can affect your oral and overall health in more serious ways than you can think. It is also known as periodontal disease and is a bacterial infection in the gums and sometimes involves the surrounding bones. It ranges from irritation also called gingivitis to severe infection which is medically referred to as periodontitis.
Millions of men and women in the USA have lost some or even all of their teeth prematurely due to gum diseases. Plaque is the most common factor affecting gum health. However, several other factors are related to varied gum diseases as well. These include:
- Tobacco Consumption – Consuming tobacco is related to numerous life-threatening diseases such as cancer, lung and heart related disorders etc. Research shows that smoking or consuming tobacco also increases your risk of developing periodontal disease.
- Genetics – Some people are genetically susceptible to gum diseases. An early genetic test before even the early signs of periodontal diseases are seen, might help such people reduce their risk of gum disease.
- Age – Older people are at an increased risk of developing periodontal disease. Center for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that over 70% of people in the USA who are 65 and above have periodontitis.
Other factors include the habit of grinding teeth, other systemic diseases which include cardiovascular disease, diabetes etc., stress, certain medications such as oral contraceptives, anti-depressants and poor nutrition and obesity.
Risk factors for Women
Pregnant women are at a greater risk of developing serious gum diseases. Around 70% women develop gingivitis or inflamed gums during their pregnancy, mostly due to the hormonal changes in the body. Gum inflammation generally develops between second and eight month of pregnancy. The gum disease symptoms include redder looking gums which bleed a little during brushing, severe swelling and bleeding in gum tissues.
So, if you have recently discovered that you are pregnant and are concerned about your risk of developing periodontitis, book an appointment with us in Fresno today.
Also, recent studies have linked gum diseases with an increased risk of several types of cancer in postmenopausal women. Periodontal disease was linked with a 14% higher risk of developing any type of cancer in such women. Besides, swollen gums, sensitive and loose teeth, and gum diseases have been linked with an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Risk factors for Men
Research has shown that men are at a greater risk of periodontal disease (56.4%) as compared to women (38.4%). Gum health or periodontal health is thus, even of more importance in men as it also affects other aspects of their overall health. For instance:
- Men with symptoms of periodontal diseases such as swollen, tender or red gums who also suffer from prostatitis – inflamed prostrate, have higher levels of the prostate-specific antigen or the PSA enzyme. This indicates that there may be a connection between periodontal and prostrate health or vice versa.
- Periodontal disease may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Since men are more prone to developing heart diseases as compared to women, maintaining healthy gums might help them lower the risk of the associated heart diseases.
- Men who are younger than 30 or older than 70 are at an increased risk of developing impotence as per research. It is believed that inflammation may be the link between two conditions. Prolonged chronic inflammation which is similar to the kind of inflammation associated with periodontal disease may damage blood vessels which can result in impotency.
- Research shows that men with periodontal diseases are mostly 49% more likely to develop kidney cancer, 54% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer and 30% more likely to develop blood cancer as compared to women.
Be it men, women or children, one of the easiest preventive measures anyone can take to reduce the risk of gum diseases is to adopt a proper oral hygiene routine and visit a periodontist regularly. If you think you or your loved ones are at a risk of periodontitis and are looking for an experienced dentist in Fresno, visit us at today. Dr. Long and his experienced team can help you reduce your risks of gum diseases and improve overall oral health. So, book an appointment today.